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Author: beauturkey

Is Fallen Earth a "Ryzom 2.0"?

Posted by beauturkey Monday November 30 2009 at 11:28AM
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Before you read this, go play Ryzom or Fallen Earth if you have not already. Give it a week or two, and come back.

There.....better? For those of you that have played both, good for you. You are maintaining a healthy balanced diet of games, something that every gamer should do. Keep in mind while you read this that I am not attempting to say one game is better than the other. They are both fantastic games. I am simply pointing out some of the cool similarities and neat differences between the two games, and wondering if FE is a more advanced  "Ryzom-ish" game.

Let's just get right to the comparisons. Of course, I will probably get off on a tangent or two, but stick with me.

1) Environments: While Fallen Earth's setting couldn't be more unoriginal and semi-bland, Ryzom shines as one of the most unique and beautiful games out there. And that's after 5 years! But both worlds are unforgiving and harsh. Ryzom is beautiful, but even traveling from one city to another is an exercise in stealth and excitement. And the Earth of Fallen Earth is barren and ugly, and acts like a desert should. In both worlds there is a sense of the world being against you in many ways, and dealing with the environment is just one of the struggles. While FE gives more of an impression of this struggle, though, Ryzom literally delivers with the best weather system in MMO'ing (with Mabinogi as a close second) with rain effects and storms and seasons that literally effect what you can harvest, what animals might be around and visibility.


2) Mounts: Ryzom, once again, was ahead of it's time when it came to mounts. They stayed in the world when your character didn't, they could die and they carried your stuff. The only thing missing (remarkably so in both games) is the ability to name your mount. (All this work into making mounts so "realistic" and you cannot even name them!) And Fallen Earth has taken a cue or two from Ryzom: their mounts can die, have "stamina" and need "refueling", and can carry items. But, FE took it a step further and has allowed you to buff/heal your mount. Still, no /follow command for your mount in FE? It happens in Ryzom, so why can't your horse simply follow you in FE? Either way, it's too bad neither game has taken it the way of Mabinogi's mounts, and allowed them to fight with you!

3) Housing: Not an issue for either game. While Ryzom does have housing, it's nothing extraordinary. FE has none to speak of, but will supposedly be adding "camps" which will make for a temporary house, along with an NPC (rumor) that will walk out of the mist to barter with you.

4) Lore: The Lore of both games is great and well-written, and FE seems to have taken from Ryzom with the time-line presentation and the sense of survival after a "fall." It's not really that either game is doing anything massively original with the Lore (save for the setting in Ryzom) but that's OK. It's solid and nice to read, if that's your thing. I tend to stay away from just reading the Lore because I feel as though there would be gaps in information for the characters, just like in this real world. There are real-life humans that cannot name the last 10 presidents of the US, so what makes anyone think that a character would know each faction inside and out?

5) Combat: Both games are "skill based," meaning that you have the ability in each to customize your character's abilities to your liking. In other words, there are no classes. While Ryzom has it's melee/magic/crafting/gathering trees complete with tons of branches to explore, FE seems to have taken it a step further. Not only does FE have it's crafting, but is allowing the player to craft things that Ryzom would be perfect for: food, medicines, fuels. And combat seems to go this way, too. FE has bested Ryzom's combat by allowing more and more choices than you can shake a stick at. Ryzom has basically a select enemy/sit back while enemy is killed/push a few buttons while killing enemy-type of combat, but FE can be played in many different ways. You can shoot a guy to pull him towards you, use an ability on him and then bash him with a stick. You can sneak up, bash him and then fall back to throw a grenade on him, or shoot him from your mount! And with missions in FE and not in Ryzom (save for a very few on the beginner island and a few on mainland), and by allowing everything you succeed at a chance to gain more "ability points," FE makes Ryzom's combat and leveling look pretty basic.

To be honest I am seeing so many similarities between the two games that I am beginning to wonder if some of the developers for FE have worked on Ryzom! (Or just fans of  the game maybe?) And I am seeing several Ryzom long-time players in FE, which is neat.

But what I am loving about FE is that it takes alot of the principles and ideas behind Ryzom (intentional or not, I am not sure) and ramps them up. Not to be rude, but playing FE is like playing  a Ryzom that has been updated. Maybe that's some of the issue: I became so sick of waiting for cool things to come to Ryzom over the last 3 years that the first game that came along with a lot of the same systems and ideas drew me away from Ryzom.

Granted, the new owners of Ryzom are pumping out patches left and right and seem to be planning tons more, but is it a little too little too late? I would like to tell you to maintain a sub to both games, for sure. But don't be surprised if you are playing FE and loving it for the same reasons you love Ryzom:

1) The open character customization.

2) The mature community.

3) The realistic systems.

But also be on the lookout for feelings of regret for Ryzom, that FE might be the game that Ryzom could have, (and might still) become. Kind of sad, but I still have many many hours of wonderful time spent in the wonderful world of Ryzom, and that world came way before Fallen Earth.